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Instructor jp
Instructor jp, Technical Instructor Master ASE
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  14 Years manufacture instructor
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2001 Dodge Neon wont start. Have replaced ignition, starter

Customer Question

2001 Dodge Neon won't start. Have replaced ignition, starter relay and checked clutch switch. Have tested starter and found it working. Tested brown wire into starter and no current when keyed turned. Would like to understand key chip security circuit. Other than PCM don't know where to go. Was just backing up when car stalled, from fuel clutch mixture. Than nothing. Suspected clutch safety switch but it sems to be working, as far as current flow through when pushed, except for one thing. When wife towed me I was able to put it in gear and it would start right up. When I put the clutch in, to flagged her, to pull over it died. Clutch out it would run clutch in and it died. Did this reapetedly while being towed. Probably why push start attempts failed. When I took the stering column collar off, to install ignition, I found two small wires (black/black and white) coming from the key area disconnected. They have a small connecter at the end but couldn't identify where it might go. Is this part of the key chip security cirquit and the source of my problem? I assumed when I found them that they had always been unconnected. Am prepared to start tracing cirquit from ignition to starter to see if I can figure out where it stops. If the key chip security sytem is failing me, though, how can I trace that? Need to know more about it. Can you get codes from PCM when car won't start?

 

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Hello chenrezig,

 

Yes you can get codes by switching the key on and off three times leaving the key in the on position third time back on. count the red check engine light flashes. They will be .5 sec then pause .8 sec then .5 sec. They will be example 12 / 15 / 55

 

jp

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Was actually considering getting a code reader for this model. The car does have the high output engine for that model. Is it the codes you need? After installing ignition and new relay everyone kept telling me it was the starter. Thankfully I tested it before doing the fuelrail intake manifold removal, required to get it out. I believe I will be able to start it, by jumping the starter while in neutral. Something I might try this weekend, as well as check codes. It's been pouring rain here, Sacramento, for weeks but should stop Friday.

Battery was low when we were testing it but it (starter) turned clearly enough. We had applied power to the brown wire. When turning the key on there was nothing coming through the wire at all. Diagram indicates it as connection between relay and selinoid. The only problem I forsee, with it starting, is the weird thing it was doing when I pressed the clutch. If the car is started, as in being towed, why would pressing the clutch kill it? This has been discribed, to me, as being pretty weird by several people. Will write back with some codes, hopefully, by Sunday. If this is the additional info you need?

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Hello chenrezig,

 

I have given you wiring diagrams.. the last one you can see your clutch pedal lock out.

I really think you just need a new switch.

jp

 

 

 

8155b5e6

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Actully the Clutch safety switch, in it, is not the original. Replaced it with another, from auto wreckers, but I did check it, both before installing it and after. Seemed to work properly. What about this 40 amp fuse, in the relay box, 'IGN RUN'? What does that control? There are also 2 fuses on inside panel. 10 amp B/U LP/EBL SW/CLUTCH SWITCH & 10 amp CLUSTER/SKIM/ AKE-IGN. Visably checked first but is it actually a fuse for the clutch switch? Back up lamp is obvious but what is EBL switch. And second one? Is it actually a fuse for the ignition (AKE-IGN)? Sorry if I seem a little ignorant about these things. Will have to check fuses closer with test light actually. But it seems I'm back to tracing wires from ignition, through clutch safety switch on to relay. Try to sort out where power is or is not. I can accept but when I have codes or have jumped the starter to get it running can I write back with info? Especially if pushing clutch is still killing it. Have you ever known the key chip system to fail?
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Let me get to work this am and i will post

 

jp

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

It sound like all of your fuses are good that the vehicle does run when jumped. However looking at the fuse you should be able to see it is blown. I gave you a wiring diagram in the last post there is no fuse for the clutch switch. EBL is electric Back Light meaning rear window defogger.

If the car is in neutral will the starter engage without you stepping on the clutch?

 

I will repost so you can jump the starter relay.

 

jp

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well no, the car won;t start by the key under any circumstances in any gear, clutch in or out. Was speaking of putting it in neutral, turning the key on and putting power directly to the selonoid.to see if it will start. Will have to go after codes and trace some wires to see if power is even getting to the ignition or anywhere beyond. Thanks for the help, for now, will have to get back with new INFO if some comes up.
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Ok let me know.

jp

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello JP, using the diagrams, you sent me, I am certain of a couple of small things. There is power to the ignition and there is power coming out. Yellow wire definattly lites when key turned. At the clutch switch there is nothing coming in or out. Your diagram shows Yellow/red (in? I imagine) and Lightgreen/black (out?) These wires are exactly what I have and both are dead, key turned or not. Diagram shows these both originating, or returning, to the PCM. I am beginning to suspect this object strongly (PCM) but would hate to replace costly thing and be wrong. Will try to trace Tan wire that seems to be link from ignition (yellow wire), starter relay and PCM. Lots of work, it seems. Suppose a code reader could tell me if it is having a brain cramp for certain or not. If power is going to it but not coming out than thats a pretty good indicater I think though.
Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Chenrezig.

 

Will the engine start if you jump the starter relay??

 

jp

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for thee reply. Something I will know for sure this weekend. Know starter will turn but battery was too low to get a start. Last time it actually ran was being towed by wife. Turn the key on and let the clutch out and it would start right up. Put the clutch back in and it would die. That has been the confusing mystery about this. Why would putting in the clutch kill the engine, once it was started? So obviously it will run but something in the starting/ignition circuit is screwed up. You can call me Colin. Chenrezig is a little big to wear. He is, of course, a perfect enlightened being, (Bodhisattva) I am not. Let me check things out this weekend and I'll get back to you. Going to trace wires through start relay, in and out of PCM and see where it goes and stops. If the line going to PCM, I believe it's a tan one, has power but the ones coming in and out (yel/red & Ltgrn/black) are showing no power than the PCM is most likely the culprit. Strange how it just seemed to happen. Was backing up, missed the clutch/gas mix and stalled it and than nothing. (?)

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok, did scan. Reader would not read. Mech, I borrowed it from, said that would indicate computer problem. Check reader on our new dodge truck and it be haved fine. Been suspecting computer. Looking at digrams, you sent as well as manual, there is 1 significant observation. One would expect to find the clutch safety switch some where in the sarting circuit. Between Ign and relay, relay and starter etc. Somewhere in the start circuit. It is not. It is a seperate circuit that only seems to interact with the computer. Now I checked circuits at the relay. Yel IGN lights when key turned. Red power is live and Brown wire to starter has no problem. Could have probably started it jumping red to brown but I think I will be replacing battery as well. I had charged it but drained it quickly jumping relay. But starter did turn, at relay and jumping starter itself. Have verified that clutch switch works when pressed but I have no power in lines coming and going from it. These appear to run in and out of the computer as well as tan wire running to ign circuit in starter relay. The tan wire must be getting signal from clutch switch allowing it to complete circuit and activate starter relay. Somethig that surely seems to be not happening in the computer. Just wish I could be absolutly certain before forking out $250 for new PCM. Other note have you received anything from me, payment wise. Just saw note, above showing 0 excepts and 1 question deposit made. Thought I did except before, when I had asked about returning with question. I see a balance, at top, of $15.If you've received nothing let me know immediately I will fix. Hopefully it is on deposit and gone from my bank. Looks like it is. Let me know. I do appreciate your help and the diagrams.

Expert:  Instructor jp replied 5 years ago.

Hello Colin,

 

I have had this issue with one other neon. It has been some time. In the case as I remember it was just the clutch safety switch. You may have some other issue.

 

You can try this. Unplug the clutch safety switch and jump the Yellow red stripe to the black wire. Try to start. This will take out the safety so MAKE sure you are in neutral!!

I do not see a accept on payment.

 

jp

Instructor jp, Technical Instructor Master ASE
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience: 14 Years manufacture instructor
Instructor jp and 2 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello JP, something quick, if I may. In looking and trying to understand this interlock/upstart switch situation , is it common for these NEONs (2001) to not have a cruise control system? Mine does not. That kind of makes the upstart half of this switch usless at best. All the info describes the 2 systems and new switches come with both but mine only had the one interlock switch. The other seemed to have been cut off and there is no cruise control switch on the column or near the steering wheel.It doesn't appear to be missing or removed. Is this common, in these vehicles, or has mine been altered? Have gained accsess to a service manual and am learning a bunch about many things, including the security system. A surprising revelation, earlier, may be making this problem very simple indeed. When I pulled the steering column apart ,to put in new ignition, I found a wire, with a very small connecter, hanging lose. I couldn't see where it might go or understand how or why it would have become disconnected. Looking at the SKIS today, in the manual as well as the wirring diagrams, I might have found something very important. If so I should have the car running shortly. Please, if you will, let me know about this cruise control thing. Am getting a new switch and need to know for sure about upstart part of it. Have new, to us, Dodge RAM (1999) and I'm sure you and I will be getting well acquainted in future. Will load more money as soon as I can, for your services. Just found out today that bank acct went into hole. Dang ATT pmnt. Can't come when the moneys there. LOL That's why I have to be my own mechanic!

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